Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
Assalamu Alaikum! Alhamdulillah the holy month of Ramadan is upon us once again! I pray that you all have a blessed and fruitful month, and grow closer to Allah (SWT) in these upcoming days, inshaAllah.
Allah (SWT) tells us that the sole purpose of our fast is to attain taqwa, or God consciousness. Let us try our best in this month to be constantly aware of Allah, and actively seek His mercy, forgiveness and salvation from the Hellfire.
Allah (SWT) has blessed us with numerous outlets by which to become closer to Him in this month. We can study the Qur’an extensively, observe our fast in a commendable manner, perform Salatut Taraweeh and Qiyamul Lail (and if possible Itikaf during the last ten days), share our wealth with the less fortunate and donate to righteous and worthy causes.
Let us be more caring while dealing with people of all faiths, cleanse our hearts and tongues and perfect our daily dealings; as we all know, improving ourselves in these areas is critical to attaining Allah’s pleasure. Let us strive to make improvements in our daily lives during this blessed month, and work to keep those habits alive once the thirty days have passed. When our beloved Prophet (peace be up on him) was asked, “What deeds are most pleasing to Allah?” he replied, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” (Bukhari)
Ramadan is a month of both reflection and action. Last Ramadan ICNA launched a yearlong campaign to increase public understanding of Shariah and counter the rise of Islamophobia in America. In the past year, the religious freedoms of American Muslims have been under blatant attack; now more than ever, the Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah campaign needs your support. I encourage you to take action this Ramadan and support our campaign by donating at www.icna.org/donation.
I pray that Allah (SWT) blesses our families and communities with peace, tranquility, strong faith, and healthy and active lives. May He give us the best of this world and the Hereafter. Ameen.
Your brother in Islam,
Zahid H. Bukhari